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Racine Family Law Blog

Using prenuptial agreements to equally distribute marital assets

Property division matters occupy the front seat in any divorce proceeding. Divorces are plentiful in Wisconsin and keep Racine divorce attorneys and financial advisors busy solving the various issues of marital property division.

Marital property division could be very complex or reasonably simple, or anywhere in between. Every professional in the field, a financial advisor, an attorney or a judge, strives towards one objective-a fair and equitable division of marital property for those divorcing. Individuals filing for a legal separation also need property division to be first and foremost on the list of things to be achieved prior to the process of divorce.

Wisconsin same-sex couples face legal adoption issues

Child custody is a major concern for Wisconsin couples and gay couples are no exception. Same-sex couples cherish the dream of parenthood and want their children to enjoy the same rights as children of heterosexual couples. Always thinking of the best interests of the child, same-sex couples have made a fervent appeal to the state to recognize their marriages and make their adoptions legal so that there are no issues regarding child custody later on.

In Wisconsin, one same-sex couple has made an appeal to the state that both parents be given equal rights as far as their children are concerned. A law school teacher believes that same-sex families should hold the same legal protections as families with hetero-sexual parents enjoy.

J-Lo and former husband finally sign divorce decree

Many Wisconsin marriages between everyday residents end in divorce. It seems that celebrity marriages are no exception to this rule. Celebrity singer Marc Anthony's break up with singer and actress Jennifer Lopez has finally legally ended after three years of separation. The celebrity couple agreed to share joint custody of their six -year old twins.

According to the divorce filing, Lopez will have the major share of custody time with the couple's daughter and son while Anthony will enjoy the companionship of the children for a week each month. No spousal or child support will be paid by either party because it was deemed unnecessary. The divorce, in many ways, has been rather amicable. The couple also agreed that the children need to be protected from public scrutiny and gossip.

More and more fathers want child custody

Child custody remains a major concern for Wisconsin couples who want to divorce. Even when both parents are eager to do what is best for their children, their ideas about parenting often differ. Although fathers may find themselves in a tight spot as far as child custody issues are concerned, the scenario is changing.

Law firms are championing the cause of fathers who take on an empowered role as dads. Hence, many legislatures are revisiting old child custody laws because research has shown that fathers play an even more important role in the emotional and physical well-being of children than previously thought. Growing evidence shows that more fathers are willing to take up responsibility for their children, even after divorce. There is a reason for this: gender equality in the workplace, and more hands-on fathers on the home front. Hence, men are insisting that their wishes be respected in court. Take, for instance, the case of a 27-year old IT manager and father of three children. He feared that he would lose out on the child custody fight and would have no visitation rights. He subsequently hired a men's firm to help his cause.

Property division can invite tax liability after divorce

When a Racine, Wis., couple divorces, the process of marital property division is important and can be tax-sensitive. This task can be quite cumbersome with parties dividing all the money assets acquired during marriage and then negotiating property division, as well. This can be quite difficult if the former couple's property consists of a more than a home, household knickknacks, a car, and a bank account. Property division becomes even more difficult when assets are difficult to value, such as retirement accounts or stock options.

Wisconsin couples also need to know that if a retirement plan is split at the time of divorce, it can lead to tax complications later on. Often, IRAs and 401(k)s need special handling since their distribution will ultimately be taxable. In a recent incident, a court ruled that an ex-wife needs to pay tax on a distribution she had received from her former husband's 401(k) plan. During the time they were married, the man had participated in the organization's 401(k) plan.

Terence Howard taken to court for unpaid alimony

Divorcing Racine County, Wisconsin couples, especially those with children, who are filing for divorce need to remember that they might be required to pay spousal support and if these divorcing spouses have children a noncustodial parent may need to pay child support as well. Ordinarily, missing a spousal or child support payment breaks the legal agreement but there are exceptions and extenuating circumstances.

In a recent case, Oscar-nominated actor Terence Howard has reportedly missed court-ordered alimony payments and his former wife has now brought the matter before the court. According to reports, Howard's wife is tired of the misdoings and reportedly, even his attorneys are fed up.

"Smash" songstress and actress files to end marriage

Many marriages end in bitterness and divorce. Some couples initially resist the bitterness and remain friendly after the divorce announcement. A recent case of friendly divorce was filed by "Smash" actress and singer, Katharine McPhee. The filing announcement comes several months after the beautiful actress was seen kissing the director of the cancelled television show. The actress' representative says that the divorcing couple remains amicable and will be continue to be friends.

The celebrity couple has also asked for privacy as their marriage ends. McPhee married Nick Cokas nearly seven years ago after a long courtship. The celebrity couple first met while working on a movie, and they do not have any children. Strains in the relationship and talk of loss of feeling had been reported by the Hollywood press. Last October, the actress was photographed having an intimate moment in a plush public restaurant with a married TV director. The director and his wife have three young children.

How do religious practices fit into child custody arrangements?

For many divorcing parents, settling the issues involved in child custody is very difficult. Both parents probably want to do what's best for their kids, but they might have differing ideas about what that means. In addition to physical living arrangements settled by child custody, parents may also have to reach an agreement about how to handle legal custody -- or the ability to make broader parenting decisions.

One of the most sensitive issues that can enter the conversation about legal custody is religious upbringing for the children. In marriage, one parent might have much stronger feelings about religion than the other. Or, on the other, hand a person's religious views can change over time. As such, it's worth wondering how this all works into custody arrangements.

University of Wisconsin study: courts prefer joint custody

One of the most highly contested issues for any separating couple in Racine County, Wisconsin, is child custody. Often, in the ensuing battle between the parents, the children are subjected to immense emotional stress. Unfortunately, this stress may leave a long-term detrimental effect on the mental and emotional well-being of the child.

However, recently, courts in the United States have become gender neutral and, as a result, shared placement of children has become much more popular. According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, child-custody rulings in the state underwent a great deal of change in the eight-year period between 1986 and 1994. While the percentage of cases where the mother gained custody dropped from 80% to 74%, joint custody rulings have increased from 7% to 14% within the same period.

How spouses can learn to like each other after divorce

Many marriages end in bitterness and anger, whether in Wisconsin or elsewhere in the country. No matter what has led them to it, when a couple files for divorce there is often a certain level of resentment that often comes out in mean-spirited comments. If children are involved, then there may also be a fight for custody. Although the anger in a divorce may seem permanent, it is not likely to last all that long -- and simple acts of kindness can go a long way toward easing tensions between ex-spouses.

One woman, for example, discovered she still had the wedding band that her former spouse had worn for only a short time after their wedding. Realizing its value, she overcame the temptation to sell it and instead returned it to him. He was surprised by her thoughtful and kind gesture, but he later returned the favor by giving her a watch for their son that had been given to him by her parents years earlier. There is no discounting the good intentions behind each act.

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